NFL commissioner Roger Goodell used his annual "State of the League" pre-Super Bowl address to announce that the league is looking to stream a regular season game for the first time. All previous live streams of National Football League games have involved playoffs or the Super Bowl.
Goodell speaks at the pre-Super Bowl State of the League press conference. (Source: nfl.com)
"We are aggressively pursuing the streaming of a regular-season game with our first over-the-top telecast," said Goodell, who didn't make it entirely clear as to whether such distribution would occur over-the-top or through pay-TV's TV Everywhere walled garden.
For the two involved teams and their respective TV markets, Goodell said the stream would be carried by the affiliates of the broadcast network that had the game rights. However, he also implied that the stream would "reach a worldwide audience including millions of homes that do not have traditional TV service."
Saturday's announcement occurred a day before NBC's live stream of Sunday's Super Bowl decidedly underwhelmed technology critics.
While some complained about the "choppiness" of the picture, most of the gripes concerned the latency of the live stream.
"The most maddening part was that, even if you stayed off Twitter, and were lucky enough not to have neighbors within earshot, you still would have to contend with spoilers from NBC itself," Slate's Will Oremus wrote. "For unfathomable reasons, the NBC Sports Live Extra web site maintained a scoreboard widget at the top of the screen that stayed live even when the stream fell far behind. It is hard to overstate just how thoughtless and stupid this was on NBC's part."
Tweeted John Falcone of CNET: "The NBC stream is working fine for me in a browser, except for the fact that it's at least a minute behind."
Level 3 to provide video services for the Super Bowl XLIX
The NFL, pay-TV's priciest content, comes to YouTube
NBC to live-stream Super Bowl free of charge--to everyone except smartphone users